When we say the word “love” in relation to leadership, what exactly do we mean? Certainly, it’s not the romantic notion of love that would make every HR department panic. Nor do we mean a gushy softness that would allow incompetence or irresponsibility. What we are talking about is a caring and personable professionalism that brings out the best in people, fostering an environment of excellence, resilience and engagement. Let’s take a closer look at the various forms love can take in the world of leadership, the impact it has.
Love Inspires Excellence
When love takes the form of a work culture focused on human connection, it inspires excellent performance. According to research in Adam Grant’s book Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach, radiologists who were shown facial photos of their patients increased the accuracy of their diagnoses by 46%. Similarly, call center workers raising money for scholarships increased their revenue 500% after meeting a scholarship recipient in person. The bottom line is that when we feel a sense of love for the people we serve and the people we work with, we work harder to achieve excellence.
Love Increases Resilience
When love takes the form of supportive professional relationships, it reduces stress, improves health, and increases resilience. A 20-year study published by Health Psychology found that mortality was significantly lower for employees who reported high levels of peer social support. According to the Mayo Clinic, having a strong social network improves our ability to cope with stressful situations. In other words, valuing the positive relational side of our professional relationships means we will have the resilience to survive short-term stressors and achieve our long-term goals.
Love Enhances Engagement
When love takes the form of a compassionate and caring workplace, it increases engagement. In a study by Wharton professors who surveyed 3,201 employees across seven different industries, “people who worked in a culture where they felt free to express affection, tenderness, caring and compassion for one another, were more satisfied with their jobs, committed to the organization, and accountable for their performance.” There is no organization without employees, and when the employees flourish, the organization flourishes.
To talk with us about bringing love to your leadership, call us at 1-800-273-1465 or send a message.